October, 2015 – The Lord is My Shepherd

Recently I heard Jill Briscoe tell a story whereby some children at a church in England long ago learned the first phrase of Psalm 23.  They were taught to hold up all their fingers on one hand, and to grab the end of each finger as they recited each word in the phrase – ‘the Lord is my Shepherd’.  However, when they came to the fourth word, ‘my’, they were to grab that whole finger tightly.  I recently taught this to my beautiful orphans at Barza Mica – except there are only four words in the Romanian language, “Domnul este Pastorul meu”.   We all gripped onto our fourth finger as we recited the phrase.  I needed them to know that anytime they were scared, or being beaten, or just missing their Mama Dawn and Ioana that they could recite those four words.  And in gripping tightly to their fourth finger, they would know that in spite of their circumstances the Lord truly was with them.

Photo0789XJust days ago, I was reminded what it means to have the Lord as my Shepherd.  In the Fall, the shepherds bring all the sheep down out of the hills in Romania to the flat lands.  They would not want to get caught up in a higher elevation during an early snowstorm, and besides it’s the time that the bears are getting hungry before hibernating.  The shepherd would stand to lose several sheep.  I was told that the shepherd never leaves his flock of 200-500 to 1000 sheep.  He guides them by day, and lies down on the ground nearby at night to constantly be aware of their well-being.  He doesn’t even leave them to go home.  Family brings food and necessary clothing to him.  He is always with his sheep!

For sure, ‘the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want’.   I don’t have to worry for a thing.  He is my constant companion.  He leads me exactly where I need to be.  He is constantly ever watching over me (Psalm 121:3b).  He will never leave me, nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8).  The shepherds here in RO reminded me that Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd – my Shepherd.